Crowdfunding a Retail 3D Printing Store in New Hampshire

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Dusty Santos wants to launch her own 3D printing retail store

Inspired by her work in the 3D animation field and experience in selling on Shapeways, Dusty Santos thinks that a physical 3D printing store is a great business move and a way to give back to artists around the world.

To get started, Santos is raising $30,000 in crowdfunding to cover the costs of starting her businesses, buying equipment, and paying her employees. As her prospective business scales, Santos thinks she can fund expansion out of profits.

Crowdfunding 3D Printing Retail Store

Visit her Fundable campaign and watch her crowdfunding video pitch here:

We caught up with entrepreneur Dusty Santos for an interview

On 3D Printing: What was your inspiration for this idea?

Dusty Santos: I have to say it was a combination of a few things. Since graduating from ‘The D.A.V.E. School’ in 2006 I worked in the 3D animation field doing freelance. It never brought in enough money though so I used my skills to sell products on Shapeways. So I know what goes into making a 3d printable mesh.

My husband is really into technology and of course 3d printing news. Having him around keeps 3d printing at the forefront of my mind. Also, I had Ashton Kutcher’s teen choice award speech in my mind when my husband, 1 year old, and myself went to the mall.

The whole trip I thought how cool it would be to see 3d printers and 3d printed creations for sale. When we were leaving the store the combination my husbands research and Ashton’s speeach hit me hard. Why not open a store myself?! Why wait, wait for what, someone else to do it? From that moment on I couldn’t get the thought out of my head, that lead me to the research, and to and to you!

On 3D Printing: How do you compete with or differentiate from makerspaces and local 3D printing service bureaus?

Dusty Santos: That’s easy, there isn’t any competition. Well, physical store competition anyway, since I’ll be the first physical store (that I know of) where customers can see the 3d printing evolution in person. “3D Print It” will be the only store that you can see a variety of 3d printers working and for sale. With knowledgeable staff that can answer questions and help people understand this new way of selling retail. Like the concept of custom printing and never being out of stock. By the time the copycats get in on it, I’ll have cornered the market with 3d printer companies that will only re-sell with me.

On 3D Printing: What 3D Printers will you be using to start?

Dusty Santos: ’Acuity Design’ has agreed to let me re-sell their Helix 3d printer. It has a print radius of 300mm squared and takes lots of different materials. They will be the first printer I use. I’ll also buy a CubeX Trio to be able to print 3 different colors. I would rather work with companies I re-sell for so we are looking for a 3d printer that can take the place of CubeX Trio. The more variety of printers we can re-sell the better variety of merchandise we will have.

On 3D Printing: How will you market your service?

Dusty Santos: My store will be located in the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua NH. That mall has been recently renovated and looks amazing. It is also located close to Massachusetts, this insures that customers will come from multiple states to see my store.

Pheasant Lane Mall New Hampshire

Beside the obvious location traffic I will be attending conventions constantly. Everything from jewelry shows, to craft shows, to art exhibits, to cons, with 3d printing I can advertise in many different industries.


Good luck Dusty. If you like Dusty Santos’ idea, go check out her Fundable crowdfunding page.

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One Response to Crowdfunding a Retail 3D Printing Store in New Hampshire

  1. Susan Duteau says:

    Hey Dusty,
    I know about how it can be difficult at first raising money….have justified in my own mind that my company is just like paying for my own MBA/project….we stared a company making ABS. The first few runs have been tough and working to improve the quality of the product. In the meantime we have gotten a lot of returned product…yet we are able to create excellent prints with the 3D printer we are developing…Anyway if you want some free ABS I will ship it to you for the cost of the shipping…I just sent 14 spools for $35.
    Good luck!

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